Leaving your computer up and running is sometimes necessary--if you're waiting for a download to finish, for example--but it's also a security risk. If you want to make sure that your system shuts down after a specific amount of time without your involvement, try Final Countdown. This simple utility can be set to perform a variety of shutdown tasks after you've gone, ensuring that your computer isn't vulnerable in your absence.
The program's interface is plain and intuitive, with its features arranged in an easy-to-navigate layout. Drop-down menus let users select the number of days, hours, or minutes in the future that the program should perform its task. Using radio buttons, users can choose between shutdown, restart, sleep, hibernate, log off, and lock options. In versions of Windows from Vista on, a Good Night Mode will gradually turn down the sound, a nice feature if you like to fall asleep listening to music but don't want to leave your computer running all night. We liked the fact that Final Countdown lets users save up to six favorites, making it easy to select a certain amount of time that you use frequently. When the program is active it appears as an icon in the system tray; a small pop-up displays the time remaining as well as a snooze button if you're not quite ready to go. We do wish that Final Countdown came with a Help file, as not all of its features were totally self-explanatory; we're still not sure what the difference is between a favorite and a shortcut. Overall, though, we found Final Countdown to be a well-designed and useful program, and we recommend it.
Final Countdown comes as a ZIP file and is accessible after extraction with no need for installation.